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HSBC hails China's golfing breakthrough
September 24, 2012

HSBC, one of the world's leading companies and a major sponsor of golf around the world, has hailed a "watershed moment" for Chinese golf after two major breakthroughs in recent weeks.

Sixteen-year-old amateur Jing Yan breezed through qualifying to tee off in the Ricoh Women's British Open at Royal Liverpool last week, becoming the youngest Chinese female golfer to ever play in a major tournament. Yan was one of only four amateurs to make the cut and shot a stunning second round score of 69.

The Beijing-born teenager has been a member of the China national team since she was 12 and is a graduate of the HSBC China Junior Golf Program - she also won the HSBC Youth Golf Challenge in Singapore in 2008.

This latest development follows hot on the heels of last month's landmark victory which saw a China junior team beat the USA in their own backyard at the USA-China Youth Golf match at the CordeValle Golf Resort in San Martin, California.

Out of the nine players who were selected to represent China, eight of them had previously won the HSBC Junior Championships Final while the other one was a runner-up. Additionally, eight of them have participated in the Pro-am event at the WGC-HSBC Champions which takes place this year from November 1-4 at Mission Hills Guangdong, China.

The double breakthrough comes on the back of 14-year-old Chinese golfer Andy Zhang becoming the youngest player ever to qualify for a major when he took part in the US Open earlier this summer. Earlier this year World No 4 Shanshan Feng became the first player from mainland China to win a major when she claimed the LPGA Championship.

HSBC Global Head of Sponsorship and Events Giles Morgan said: "This is a genuine watershed moment for golf in China and a significant step forward - this is really starting to happen now and the future looks bright indeed for Chinese golf.

"First we saw Andy Zhang qualify for the US Open and now we have Jing Yan - this is no coincidence. Alongside our sponsorship of major tournaments such as the WGC-HSBC Champions event we have spent almost ten years sponsoring youth development and grassroots programmes across Asia and our support for the

HSBC China Junior Golf Program is really starting to bear fruit.

"The HSBC China Junior Golf Program is a sustainable long-term structure and framework to develop the future of Chinese golf and both Jing and Andy are graduates of the program. In addition, we have the HSBC-sponsored China National Junior Team, the HSBC China Junior Open and the HSBC National Junior Golf Championship, a year-long series of tournaments designed to give China's elite junior golfers the competitive platform they need to develop their game.

"With tournaments being held across the country in five age group categories which cover the ages of six to seventeen years, the production line of talent in China is still in its infancy but results such as in the USA-China Youth Golf match show the shape of things to come.

"As a proud sponsor of the WGC-HSBC Champions event since 2005 we have been lucky enough to glimpse into the future of golf and see a new generation of Asian players emerging and the achievements of Jing, Andy and the junior team are just the start. There is absolutely no doubt that in the not too distant future China will be a major powerhouse in the world of golf."

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